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27 May 2009 @ 02:15 am
What, this isn't a graphics post! Also, ow.  
Okay, I'm going to talk about myself a little which is not at all how I usually like to use my lj! But I think a little talking would be cathartic and I might need this when I feel like I've been punched in the face so here goes:

I got braces today. Again. Technically again again. I have a pretty sorted history with orthodontia. My genetics gave me a whole cocktail of crowding and bite issues, coming from both sides. When I was about twelve (I think?) my parents brought me to an orthodontist to get braces. Now, I have only vague recollections of this man as I think my mind has blocked a lot of these memories. All I know is that somewhere in the process, I'm assuming right before I got the braces on since that's the only way it makes sense, my orthodontist spotted a loose baby tooth. Before I knew what he was doing, he pulled it out. While I'm sure he meant to avoid a build up of anticipation of pain and he wanted to speed up the process, here's a note for future practitioners, don't fucking do that! That's not cool and guess what? Even kids know when you don't respect them enough to inform them of what you're doing. It may have seemed trivial to him but it was not to me. I could never trust the guy after that and was super anxious at all my subsequent appointments. I still can't recall the catalyst (though I know there was one), but after maybe a year or a year and a half of treatment, I flipped out. I bent my headgear all to hell in a fit of tween girl raaaage and my braces were removed prematurely. In one of those dumb decisions I wish my parents hadn't let slide, I hated that guy and the whole experience too much to go back to get retainers. Of course, my teeth immediately started drifting back and I don't even know how much money I wasted.

Round Two: After the euphoria of escaping from that orthodontic office wore off and my teeth become noticeably more crooked, I started feeling self-conscious about them again. I tried my best not to be and for a few years in high-school, I think I didn't care that much about them. But it was always at the back of my mind. When I had just turned eighteen, I thought I'd had enough. I wasn't okay with my teeth and I wanted them fixed. This time, we went through my dentist, who was a super nice guy. He set me up with a knock-off brand of the Invisalign system. I was excited about the prospect, even though starting college and especially doing my first semester in London, made the whole thing more complicated. You may be sensing a twist coming. Well, from the very first appointment where I had my aligner put in, I flipped the fuck out. They felt huge. They felt thick. Since my back molars don't come out of the gum very far, they didn't snap on securely and they constantly felt like they were sliding off. I still don't know if there were any legitimate reasons, my mouth is small and crowded, but I'm sure I could have tried getting used to them. I might have felt much differently in a week or two. Was I in a reasonable enough state of mind to do that? Of course not! I cried for two or three days straight and went back to the office to say I changed my mind. I couldn't do this. I couldn't go to school in another country like this. I'm going to chalk this one up to my generally craziness and also, stress from transitioning to college, if I may. If I'm generous to Past Becky, we could say some people just aren't compatible with that type of aligner. Thankfully, since my dentist/orthodonist was a sweetheart and saw my freak-out firsthand, he refunded almost everything except for the molds and x-rays. Thank you, Dr. Ward, you're a peach.

Now Becky, you may say, that is a lot of strikes for orthodontia! Most people only ever get up to one! In fact, I told myself this for a long time. I told myself I didn't deserve another chance. I didn't deserve to waste that much money. It's pretty fucking self-indulgent. Actually, I still think that. Regardless, the teeth thing has continued to bug me. In fact, it's bugged me increasingly over the years. Finally it got to the point where instead of just trying to control how I smiled and only have my teeth photographed at certain angles, I wasn't smiling with my teeth at all. I didn't want to be that person. I've never been particularly self-conscious and my damn teeth are what's been destroying my track record. I've always had to add a qualifying 'except for my messed up teeth' to any thoughts of physical appearance. So here I am. I made a decision. Today I got ceramic braces put on my top teeth. Hopefully in a couple months, things will have shifted enough to start the bottom. In (cross your fingers OMG!) eighteen months or so, I'll have straight teeth for the first time since my damn growth spurt. Maybe by starting to fix what I've always considered to be my first major failure in life, I can start to work on the next two. Maybe it won't change anything more than my teeth but as far as symbolic gestures go, this is a pretty heavy-handed one. Here's to change, Becky, it's never too late to start.

Current Mood: soresore
peaches in the creases of a plastic bag: Middleman: Wendy & Laceyphrenk on May 27th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)
You can do it! Congrats on making the step and deciding to do something about it. I think it's brave to do something like that, because it's something that will make you happier, even if it has to do with physical appearance. (You know? Like it can feel shallow to worry about something like that, but it's not all about looks, it's about confidence! And being comfortable with your body! And all of those cliched things. I'm frequently really divorced from my own physical image, like I forget to look in a mirror or try in any aspect of my "look", but I think being stubborn and refusing to change yourself because it's superficial is not much better than changing everything about yourself in order to look better. If the change is to make yourself happy, then I don't think it's bad. Trying is braver than assumed apathy! Why am I still talking.)

If a dentist had pulled a tooth without warning, I would never have gone back. SERIOUSLY, WHAT. You can't do that! Also, I think we should always be as generous as possible to our past selves. Past Becky was young and under a lot of stress! I don't blame her at all!

Good luck with your teeth, physically and symbolically! Positive waves!
Top: Actor: [Eun Hye] The most charming girltopazera on May 29th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Aw, thaaaank yoooou for the kind words! I'm not used to actually talking about these things so it feels good to 'say it out loud'. In text. XD

Also, I think we should always be as generous as possible to our past selves.
I agree! That's one of those things I know I should do intellectually but have trouble following through on sometimes. It's not at all helpful to take things out on your past self!

SERIOUSLY, WHAT. You can't do that!
Right? I'm glad you agree. I mean, it's not like pulling out a baby tooth is physically painful but it's still a part of your body! RESPECT, DUDE!

I appreciate the waves! This was very nice to read yesterday when it was my mouth was like "Whhhhy are we doing this? Ow!" ♥
Aido: Unlock the Vault of my Heartaidosaur on May 27th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
I feel you on the dentistry woes. Between getting muscles removed from my lip and the tonsillectomy and multiple root canals, going to the dentist has always been bad news for me. Good job getting over the the bad mental connotations, that's the huge first step!

Good luck, Becky! I'm certain you'll get through this just fine.
Top: Comics: [HQ & Ivy] Cheap and evil girlstopazera on May 29th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
Why do mouths have to cause so much trouble? I certainly think you got more than your fair share of it. :)

Thank you! This was very nice to read when I hit the point of being sore and uncomfortable yesterday. Luckily, I think I've had enough years to build up my resolve! XD
anenko: * paying attentionanenko on May 27th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
You're really brave to confront your fears like this. All the best with this next adventure with braces.
Top: FH: Brighter than Sunshinetopazera on May 29th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Thank you for saying so! I haven't been particularly brave as of late but I'm trying to turn that around. It was lovely to read this yesterday when I was wrapping my brain around a full year and a half of this. ♥
I am not a number; I am a free man!arxev on June 11th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)


I am not a number; I am a free man!arxev on June 11th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Top: PD: The power of imaginationtopazera on June 11th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)

C'MON, ALL THE COOL KIDS LIKE HIMYM AND PUSHING DAISIES! Oh man, you know BPAL, have Animorphs in your interests and may bring some more feminist ranting to my flist? LET'S BE FRIENDS FOR REAL! :DD
I am not a number; I am a free man!arxev on June 11th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
WELL YES AND THOSE THINGS MAKE YOU A COOL KID. And also liking BPAL and motherfucking Animorphs which was like the original GQMF thing in my life when I was a bb.